Imran nominates Justice
Gulzar as caretaker PM,
Shahbaz declines to
participate in process

0
14

ISLAMABAD: At a time when President Dr. Arif Alvi has written a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif to propose names of suitable persons for appointment as caretaker premier, Prime Minister Imran Khan has on Monday nominated former chief justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed for the office of the caretaker prime minister.

The announcement was made by PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, who said the premier made the decision after approval from the PTI’s core committee.

The former CJP’s nomination follows a letter written earlier today by President Dr Arif Alvi to the prime minister and Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing National Assembly (NA) Shehbaz Sharif to propose names of suitable persons for appointment as caretaker premier under Article 224-A(1 )of the Constitution.

The letter came a day after the NA deputy speaker disallowed a no-trust confidence motion against PM Imran and the president dissolved the lower house of Parliament on the former’s advice.

A file picture shows Justice Gulzar Ahmed shaking hands with Prime Minister Imran Khan after taking oath as Chief Justice on December 21, 2019. President Dr. Arif Alvi stands in the middle. Justice Gulzar Ahmed served as 27th Chief Justice of Pakistan from December 2019 to February 2022.

The letter stated that the NA and the federal cabinet had been dissolved under Article 58(1) of the Constitution on Sunday.

The president said that PM Imran would continue to hold office until the caretaker premier’s appointment was made under Article 224-A(4) of the Constitution.

Alvi told the two that in case they do not agree on the appointment within three days of the dissolution of the NA, they shall forward two nominees each to a committee to be constituted by the speaker, comprising eight members of the outgoing NA, or the Senate, or both, having equal representation from the treasury and the opposition.

However, the PML-N president declared that he would not take part in the process and termed it “illegal”. He said that the president and the prime minister had broken the law and questioned how they could approach the opposition.

Justice Gulzar — the 27th CJP of Pakistan

Justice Gulzar Ahmed

Justice Gulzar Ahmed, who was sworn in as the 27th chief justice of Pakistan on December 21, 2019, was born on February 2, 1957, in Karachi to the family of Noor Muhammad, a distinguished lawyer. He served as the chief justice till February 2022.

His elementary schooling was from the city’s Gulistan School, according to the Supreme Court website. He then went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Government National College, Karachi after which he obtained his law degree from S.M. Law College, Karachi.

He enrolled as an advocate on January 18, 1986, and joined the High Court on April 4, 1988. Subsequently, he became an advocate of the Supreme Court on September 15, 2001.

Justice Ahmed was elected honorary secretary of the Sindh High Court Bar Association in Karachi for the year 1999-2000.

Throughout his legal practice, he mostly remained on the civil-corporate side, serving as the legal advisor to numerous multinational and local companies, banks and financial institutions.

Ahmed was elevated as Judge of the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Aug 27, 2002. He was notified as Senior Puisne Judge of the SHC on Feb 14, 2011, and was elevated to Supreme Court later that year on November 16.

Alvi writes to Imran and Shehbaz

Copy of the letter of President Dr. Arif Alvi addressed to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif.

President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif to propose names of suitable persons for appointment as caretaker premier under Article 224-A(1 )of the Constitution.

The development comes a day after the NA deputy speaker disallowed a no-trust confidence motion against PM Imran and the president dissolved the lower house of Parliament on the former’s advice.

The letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, stated that the National Assembly and the federal cabinet had been dissolved under Article 58(1) of the Constitution on Sunday.

The president said that PM Imran would continue to hold office until the caretaker premier’s appointment is made under Article 224-A(4) of the Constitution.

“Caretaker prime minister shall be appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition in the outgoing NA as per Article 224-A(1) of the Constitution of Pakistan,” the letter said.

Alvi told the two that in case they do not agree on the appointment within three days of the dissolution of the NA, they shall forward two nominees each to a committee to be constituted by the speaker, comprising eight members of the outgoing NA, or the Senate, or both, having equal representation from the treasury and the opposition.

The members of that committee from the treasury and opposition benches are to be nominated by the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, respectively, in pursuance of Article 224-A(1) of the Constitution of Pakistan.

“It is worth stating that the Constitution has empowered the president, under Article 224-A(1), to appoint caretaker prime minister in consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition in the outgoing NA,” a handout issued by the President’s Secretariat said.

Shehbaz refuses to take part in consultation process

Meanwhile, Shehbaz declared that he would not take part in the process and termed it “illegal”. He said that the president and the prime minister had broken the law and questioned how they could approach the opposition.

Addressing a press conference alongside Shehbaz, Bilawal stated that the Constitution had defined the process of appointing and ousting the premier, telling the government that these could not be “jumped”.

“The leader of the opposition and PM converse between themselves. But when there’s no house, what leader and what opposition,” he said, adding that the no-trust motion could not be disposed of without voting on it.

However, outgoing information minister Fawad Chaudhry seemed unperturbed by Shehbaz’s refusal to participate in the process of appointing a caretaker premier.

Speaking to the media in Islamabad, he said that the country was gearing up for the next elections and dismissed the opposition’s allegations that the government’s actions were “unconstitutional”.

“Pakistan is gearing up for the elections […] Shehbaz has said he will not be a part of the process, that’s his choice. We have sent two names [to the president] today. If [Shehbaz] does not send the names within seven days, one of these will be finalised,” he said.